Stars of Research

Stars of Research aims to shine a spotlight on the many projects at the hospital that are looking to find new treatments and advances in patient care.
There are currently more than 300 research projects at NNUH covering many areas of medicine and more than 3,500 patients took part in clinical trials at the Trust last year.
Stars of Research will focus on a different research study every month and will be shared on the Trust’s social media and website using #StarsofResearch hashtag.

The CAVA device

The CAVA team of Jacob Newman, John Phillips and Stephen Cox

Principal Investigator John Phillips, who is a Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at NNUH, said:
“Once fully developed and tested through NNUH sponsored trials, it is hoped that one day the device will be made available at the point of initial referral to a doctor or nurse to avoid delay in diagnosis and to ensure cost-effective use of precious NHS resources.
He said: “Dizziness can be caused by a problem with the inner ear, but dizziness can also be caused be a whole host of conditions, including heart and circulatory conditions, neurological conditions, metabolic conditions (such as diabetes) and even anxiety.
As such it can often be very hard to identify the exact cause of sporadic attacks of dizziness in many patients. Currently, our CAVA device is entirely unique, and provides us with a special opportunity to gain insight into the workings of the ears and brain. As a home-grown device trial, this is the first trial of this kind that NNUH has ever sponsored.”

ARCTIC trial

Louise and Dan Davies with Paul Clarke and Amy Nichols.

Prof Paul Clarke, Consultant Neonatologist, said:
“We do a lot of research here to try to keep at the forefront of neonatal care. Everything we are doing with our research involving babies is trying to work out what is better for babies and what treatments may help them to survive as healthily as possible.
We can only move forward if we do research. And we are really grateful to all the parents who generously allow their babies to participate in these important research studies. Currently there are ten clinical research studies underway at NNUH aiming to advance neonatal care.”


STAR study

The IRay machine was launched at NNUH in May

“The impact has been huge. We are the only Trust in the East of England to have the IRay
machine to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and patients had to travel down to London before.
It is going well, recruitment is increasing and is helping to make a big impact on the national study to ensure it is successful. More sites in our region are also looking to deliver the study, which will mean that more patients will be able to take part.”
AMD affects the central vision and patients affected are desperate to hold on to their
vision. It affects everything they do and how they enjoy life.”

DANTE – skin cancer study

Adele Cooper and Jenny Nobes

The Oncology Team at NNUH has begun the DANTE clinical trial to help patients who are receiving immunotherapy to treat inoperable melanoma.

While immunotherapy appears to be most effective in the first year, some patients with skin cancer have received the treatment for more than two years.

The new trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will find out whether stopping immunotherapy after a year is as effective at controlling the cancer as
treatments over a longer period.

Beth Gibson, Consultant Obstetrician

“I joined NNUH as a senior registrar in 2016 and became a consultant in August. I was the first registrar at the hospital to become a Principal Investigator (PI).
There is a perception that it is not easy to do research into pregnancy.
However, it is necessary. This is a young, motivated group of patients and they are quite keen to be involved and keen to help. All women should have the opportunity to take part in research and many feel satisfied taking part.
It is important and the benefit of being involved in research is that it really keeps you up to date and you know that you are giving people the best possible evidence.”

LuCID – NNUH joins biopsy breathalyser trial

Eleanor Mishra and Julie Cook who are supporting the LuCID trial at NNUH

Eleanor Mishra, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, said two to four patients a week at NNUH have been volunteering to take part in the study.
“A lot of lung cancers are diagnosed late and LuCID is looking at early detection. Patients with suspected lung cancer have the option of taking part in the trial, which measures volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath.
It takes 10 minutes to get a sample through the mask, which is done at the same time as their hospital appointment, and most patients are very happy to be involved as they want to help other patients in the future.”